Mexico Fears 1st Fatality Spread Flu Widely
Census-taker visited hundreds of homes before falling ill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2009 6:38 AM CDT
A woman speaks to a Navy sailor guarding the entrance to the area where patients with flu-like symptoms are treated at the Naval hospital in Mexico City, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Jose Manuel Jimenez)
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(Newser) – Mexican authorities fear that the first person known to have died from swine flu may have been a modern-day Typhoid Mary, the Independent reports. The woman, a government census-taker whose door-to-door home visits in late March and early April put her in contact with some 300 people when the flu was at its most virulent, is believed to have infected dozens of people, though none have died.

The 39-year-old died on April 13, five days after she had been admitted into the hospital in Oaxaca, capital of the southern province bordering Veracruz, where the first known case of the virus was detected. Officials there did not confirm an infectious disease had broken out until April 21, which may add to criticism of Mexico's handling of the outbreak.